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The dangers of inevitability

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 9 (SEP 2007) Big dams in Southasia The fight against large dams and the reservoirs they impound is a phenomenon that sparks wherever and whenever the people of Southasia feel empowered enough to resist. And so, the “temples of modern India” of the 1950s and 1960s had by the
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A tryst with Nepali destiny

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 8 (AUG 2007) Everyone agrees on the importance of holding Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections on 22 November, and it’s beginning to look like we’ll get there. There is a unique experiment in nation-state-building underway in a corner of Southasia, where a people and a country enjoy a chance given
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Call these rivers?

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 8 (AUG 2007) Bistirno duparer Ashonkho manusher Hahakar shunye-o Nishobdo nirobey O Gonga tumi, Gonga boyechho kyano   In the lyrics and music inspired by Paul Robeson’s version of “Ol’ Man River”, Bhupen Hazarika addresses the Ganga as the mighty one that flows on and on, disregarding the misery
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The mind's rock

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 7 (JUL 2007) When trekking in the hills of Southasia with a load on one’s back, the mind is concentrated and the eyes are fixed on the ground. The satisfaction of walking alone – carrying a load, though one not too heavy – is probably linked to human evolution,
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Springtime in Langtang Beyul

From Nepali Times, ISSUE #352 (08 JUNE 2007 – 14 JUNE 2007) Langtang has the right combination of local charm and accessibility from the capital Langtang Lirung forms the perfect snow pyramid when viewed from points south, including Kathmandu Valley. What is not immediately evident is that the peak presides over a beyul-a spiritual sanctuary-enchantingly
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Atoll before the storm

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 6 (JUN 2007) 2 May. The government of the Maldives had decided to hold a celebration in honour of World Press Freedom Day, and had chosen a state-of-the-art slogan: ‘Press Forward Maldives’. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was on the dais, under a banner that proclaimed World Press Freedom, and
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Kabul as was and is

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 5 (MAY 2007) Autumn of 1977. A 22-year-old studying law in Delhi University took the Wagah-Attari route – then a series of super-fast dilapidated buses – through Lahore, Peshawar, Khyber and Jalalabad, to arrive in breathtaking Kabul. Coming from license-raj India, Kabul was as close to the ‘West’ as
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Oh, Ghalib!

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 4 (APR 2007) Just a stone’s throw from the sedate, tree-lined, high-end New Delhi neighbourhood of Nizamuddin East is a patch of Old Delhi – one of the places along the Jamuna that has seen the longest continuous inhabitation. Take a turn and a dip off the road called
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A Southasian umbrella university

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 3 (MAR 2007) Everybody welcomes the idea of a Southasian University; it’s like mother’s milk. But even mother’s milk has to have the proper nutrients, or the baby will grow up malformed. The idea of a Southasian University is so overwhelmingly important that it must not be wasted at
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India realising Southasia

From Himal Southasia, Volume 20, Number 3 (MAR 2007) Finally, South Block seems enthusiastic about the region. India has been the latecomer to ‘Southasia’. As the most populous and powerful country, at the very centre of the region, after 1947 India assumed for itself the mantle of historic, civilisational ‘India’ without a thought to what
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